Sunday, January 14, 2024

Before Breaking News Breaks


Thanks to false modesty, I did not show off. But that is no longer an excuse because it is finally acceptable to brag about mediocrity across every available platform. In fact, if you are willing to embrace the holiday spirit, and discard the wise teachings of Scrooge pertaining to parsimony, you can Tom-tom the fact that you won an award (that you paid for) declaring you the International Human of the Year, and make sure it reaches the furthest reaches of the galaxy. My talent on the other hand is tremendous news. And it is related to the news. I can predict the news with pinpoint accuracy, long before it happens or supposedly happened. Feel free to share this news with everyone, so that I can get the recognition I richly deserve.

For sticklers who demand proof, I am happy to provide the same, provided you are willing to set aside disbelief, scepticism, and the tendency to think the worst of human beings just because most are fraudulent tricksters who will shove their kids or pets off the roof to make a viral video.

The breaking news tomorrow and in the days to come will be outrageous and defy all belief, which is precisely why people will believe it implicitly. Especially since they are not going to read anything beyond the headline. Readers are a critically endangered species, and nobody reads anything longer than 280 characters without the liberal use of emojis to hasten comprehension. Believable or not, this news will be forwarded on WhatsApp where more will hit forward, without reading it first.

You might already be gobsmacked, but I have more to ensure that your head is dangerously close to exploding unable to withstand my brilliance… In future, news will be bad. Much worse than today’s and yesterday’s news which was also bad, but since we have become immune to bad news, we will only respond to worse news which is on the way to becoming horrifying. If that is not exactly good news for people praying for peace in Gaza and an end to the war between Russia and Ukraine, it can’t be helped.

This is all true, because as a columnist for a major news publication, I cannot lie. Unless I am paid to. Which I am not, because the truth is, writers were paid peanuts long before they agreed to work for less since AI types don’t demand salaries or benefits. It is a good thing I am gifted. Now, I know. And thanks to me, you do too. It will rain again in Chennai and there will be flooding because politicians are too busy playing the blame game and siphoning away funds allotted for damage control and preventive measures. Tennis fans will argue over who is the GOAT and things will get ugly when Thalapathy Vijay and SRK fans jump into the fray. Bollywood will continue to make movies featuring nepo babies with less and less to recommend them by way of talent. I could go on… but what is the point? It is bound to get worse from here. Just like I predicted.

This column was published in The New Indian Express.

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